In Haiti, a gang kidnaps about 15 American missionaries and a Canadian

This is an alert. Pray that the gang members involved will repent, read a statement from a Christian group in the US state of Ohio, Christian Aid Ministries. The organization added that the group of 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women and five children, the youngest of whom is two years old.

Join us in praying for those held hostage, for the kidnappers and the families, friends and churches of those affected. Pray for those who seek God’s direction and make decisions about it, adds the document.

A criminal gang called 400 Mawozo, which could be translated as boorish men would be responsible for the kidnapping, which allegedly took place in a peri-urban area east of Port-au-Prince, told theAFP a Haitian security source.

The missionaries and their families were returning from a visit to a construction site for an orphanage located about thirty kilometers east of the Haitian capital.

By email, Global Affairs Canada said it was “aware of media reports that a Canadian citizen has been kidnapped in Haiti.” Canadian government officials in Haiti work with local authorities and ONG involved to gather more information ”.

“The first priority of the Government of Canada is always the safety and security of its citizens. Due to the provisions of the Act respecting the protection of personal information, no other information can be disclosed, ”adds the spokesperson for the ministry.

A spokesperson for the American government also admitted that he was aware of the information circulating to the effect of such a kidnapping in Haiti. The safety and well-being of our nationals overseas is a top priority for the United States Department of State., said the spokesperson, refusing, however, to comment further on the subject.

Nearly a year ago, Haitian police issued a wanted notice for alleged gang leader Wilson Joseph for murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, car theft and hijacking trucks carrying goods. He bears the nickname of Death Day, which means death does not know what day it is coming.

Kidnappings almost tripled

Haiti is once again seeing an upsurge in kidnappings by organized groups. The phenomenon had diminished after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse at his residence on July 7, as well as in the days following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which killed more than 2,200 in the southwest of the country last August. .

More than 600 cases of kidnappings were recorded in the first three quarters of 2021, against 231 in the same period in 2020, according to the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, based in the Haitian capital.

The kidnappers demand ransoms ranging from a few hundred dollars to a million dollars, according to the authorities.

The vast majority of women kidnapped by criminal gangs are sexually assaulted and victims of gang rape, deplore human rights organizations, which denounce the inaction of the Haitian police.

People raise their arms and pray.

The faithful pray for the return of religious kidnapped by criminals in Port-au-Prince.

Photo : Reuters / VALERIE BAERISWYL

Before the kidnappings were committed on Saturday, professional associations and businesses in Port-au-Prince had already called for an indefinite strike from Monday, to protest against the climate of growing insecurity.

Last month, a deacon was killed outside a church in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and his wife was kidnapped. She is among the victims of dozens of kidnappings in recent months in this Caribbean country.

Political instability, the rise in the number of increasingly violent gangs and deteriorating socio-economic conditions, including food insecurity and malnutrition, are contributing to this humanitarian crisis., indicates the report of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) whose mandate has just been renewed until July 15, 2022.

Overwhelmed and underfunded police forces cannot solve Haiti’s security problems on their own.

A quote from:United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti

The kidnapping of the US missionaries comes just days after senior US officials visited Haiti where they pledged more resources to aid the Haitian National Police, including an additional US $ 15 million to combat it. violent groups.

The latter are believed to be responsible for the displacement of thousands of Haitians to temporary shelters where hygiene conditions are deteriorating.

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